The best defense… is a good inflammatory response  pg. 2

Bone marrow transplants can cure the disease, but are limited by matching donors. Replacing the defective gene through gene therapy showed some early potential, but the recovery was short-lived. Researchers led by Harry Malech, M.D., chief of the Laboratory of Host Defenses at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, are now looking for new viral vectors that will deliver the normal gene to patients’ blood stem cells more effectively.

With an incidence of only about one or two cases per million people, why have researchers spent so much time studying CGD? “I believe that if you can understand how inflammation is dysregulated in CGD, you might be able to determine the mechanisms involved in other chronic inflammatory diseases like atherosclerosis, Crohn’s disease, arthritis and certain types of cancer,” Gallin says.

Allen and his family chalk up his current good health to a little luck, a strong faith in God and constant vigilance against infection. They also are strong supporters of research.

Allen has participated in some of the treatment studies, and he hopes for a day without needles, pills or I.V.s. A day when he can swim without worrying about getting sick. A day when he can stand in the sun.

“He’ll do whatever it takes to bring awareness to the disease, and to help find a cure,” his mother says.

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